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Healthy living as you get older

Exercise is a vital part of staying healthy as we get older, alongside eating a healthy diet and socialising with family and friends. Researchers at the University of Birmingham and King’s College London[i] found that staying active keeps the body young and healthy.

Professor Janet Lord, Director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham, said: “Hippocrates in 400 BC said that exercise is man’s best medicine, but his message has been lost over time and we’re an increasingly sedentary society. Our findings debunk the assumption that ageing automatically makes us more frail.”

One of the best forms of exercise is brisk walking. It can help keep the heart strong by increasing the heart rate, which in turn could help reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure in the long-term[ii].

Getting out in the fresh air can also boost your immune system, improve your mood and mental wellbeing. It can also be a sociable activity and something that can easily be enjoyed with a group of friends or by joining a walking group such as The Ramblers.

Being sociable is also an important factor in staying healthy. Doing a hobby or an exercise class; meeting friends or volunteering for a local charity can improve people’s social life and help prevent loneliness, which can be more common as people get older.

Loneliness is becoming one of Britain’s most lethal conditions[iii] and preventing it can have a big impact on health.

Many of our residents enjoy the social aspect of living in a retirement community, especially those living alone. Most developments have communal lounges and gardens for people to meet up and have a coffee in, as well as organise outings and activities such as bowling or trips to local attractions.  

Lieutenant Colonel Barrie Bateson

One Girlings resident, Lieutenant Colonel Barrie Bateson lives in Homedrive House in Hove and loves making the most of the social side of living in his retirement development. Barrie says, “I really enjoy living here. The facilities are excellent and I have access to social activities, which is important now I’m living on my own. I have made friends and we often do things together or just meet for a chat in the lounge.”

Staying healthy is really important as we age and keeping active, eating healthier and getting out and about meeting people are all ways we can improve our health and wellbeing.

[i] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180308143123.htm

[ii] https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/fitness/walking-tips-advice/

[iii] https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/loneliness-lethal-condition-therapy-psychology-cox-commission-ons-health-a8311781.html

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